Michael McDowell wins 2021 Daytona 500 following big crash on last lap

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Michael McDowell emerged as the surprise winner of the 2021 Daytona 500, escaping a big last-lap crash ignited by Brad Keselowski, making a move for the win, and his Team Penske teammate and late leader Joey Logano.

The wild ending to the NASCAR Cup Series season-opener handed McDowell his first career victory in his 14th season at the sport’s highest level.

When the late wreck began unfolding on the backstretch at Daytona International Speedway, Logano’s and Keselowski’s cars parted ways, creating an opening for McDowell in the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford. McDowell slid into the lead just as NASCAR threw the caution flag, and because he was out front when it came out, he was declared the winner.

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